Introducing Sean, a student from Malaysia which contributes to 5.4% of international students in UK universities and increasing.
Sean Heah, 21, Penang – Sean is a second-year business student at Newcastle University and a member of the Malaysian society in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He loves travelling and photography. At the same time he is weighing up his options for further studies.
Why study in the UK?
The main focus would be to acquire a better educational system. Generally, a UK educated Malaysian would be better appreciated in the job market back in Malaysia. Studying in the UK could also provide opportunities for me to gain valuable working experience if I manage to obtain a placement. Last but not the least, travelling to Europe during the holidays is cheaper and easier.
“A UK educated Malaysian would be better appreciated in the job market back in Malaysia.”
How was your experience in the UK?
The educational system is different. UK’s educational system allows the student to think in a wider prospect whereas the educational system in Malaysia requires the student to memorise more in terms of studying. Studying in the UK away from home definitely has its advantages. It has developed me to become a more broad-minded person and more mature at the same time.
What challenges did you face?
One of the challenges I’ve faced studying in the UK is independence. Before coming to the UK, I was living well in my own comfort zone where everything is well provided for me by my family. Studying in the UK has definitely forced me to come out from that bubble and live a more independent lifestyle. For example, I had learned how to cook for myself and do my own laundry. Another issue that I think it had challenged me is getting used to the British accent. It was very difficult to catch what the locals are saying at first when having a conversation with them. However, as time goes by, I am getting the hang of it and speaking to the locals seems to be easier.
What are your concerns before coming to the UK?
My biggest concern before coming to the UK is whether I can manage to live by myself without the help or support from my parents, whether am I capable of taking care of myself. Another thing that also worried before coming to the UK is whether I am able to make friends with the locals given how socially awkward most Asians are.
How do you remain connected to Malaysia?
I often missed my country Malaysia when I am here in the UK. I find it helpful to cook some Malaysian dishes in order to stay connected. I regularly communicate with my family online to stay connected with them after all they are the biggest part I missed about Malaysia.
Was the UK up to your expectations?
In my opinion, the overall studying in the UK is up to my expectations where education is concerned. I have heard that people are less friendly in South, however in Newcastle, the north eastern are as friendly as what they had claimed. As to the cost of living, it has definitely exceeded my expectations given the massive dropping of the Malaysian ringgit.
Advice for future students
My advice for future students that wish to study in the UK is to make sure a substantial amount of capital is available especially when the economy in Malaysia is going through a rather tough time. It is also important to have a positive mind set when coming here in order to continue even when things get tough.
Newcastle University Business School is part of an elite group of Business Schools worldwide that hold triple accreditation from the three internationally recognised accreditation bodies.
Being triple accredited is a shining endorsement of the quality of the university and programmes. Newcastle University Business School is in the top 1% of business schools who hold triple accreditation and are one of only 20 in the UK.
International students are eligible for scholarships such as Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarships which waives £3000 off from the international school fees. Scholarships by Newcastle University of up to £10,000 are also available for international students. Visit the Scholarships page on Application UK for more information.
In the #AppUKinterview series, we aim to encourage all international students pursuing their postgraduate degree in the UK to use Application UK as a platform to share their experience with fellow international students. Use the hashtag #AppUKinterview to give us a shoutout or simply drop us an email for a chance to be featured.
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